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The 2002 JD Powers customer service quality results, just came in:


General Motors' Saturn division may not have the highest quality or the most vehicles to choose from, but their customers flock to Saturn dealers rather than independent shops for maintenance and repairs because of the great treatment they receive, according to J.D. Power and Associates' latest customer survey.

Saturn topped J.D. Power's annual Customer Service Index Study, the first time a non-luxury brand has led the pack in dealer service since 1986. Perennial leader Lexus dropped to number three behind Infiniti.

"The overall strength of Saturn's customer satisfaction is a result of white-glove treatment, with easy service appointments, friendly interaction and service personnel and a strong emphasis on consideration for the timely treatment of customers," said John Harbicht, director of service/dealer satisfaction for J.D. Power of Westlake Village, Calif.

The study showed that 77 percent of Saturn owners' spending on routine service and repairs is done at the dealership, compared with the industry average of 64 percent for non-luxury brands. And a much higher percentage of Saturn customers expected to return to dealers for work that the customer would have to pay for.

The survey also showed Volvo moving from 11th to 5th due to improved timeliness in dealing with customers, becoming the highest ranking European brand. This, just after the recent Initial Quality survey done, where Volvo was once again the most improved overall and the highest ranked European brand.

Porsche improved from "below average" to 13th, largely due to facility upgrades and new service processes. Mercedes dropped from 13th to below average, due to a wave of C-Class customers flooding service bays, making it harder to get appointments and be served in a timely fashion.

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